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HomeSportsCricketIbrahim, Farooqi, Naib lead Afghanistan to comfortable win

Ibrahim, Farooqi, Naib lead Afghanistan to comfortable win

Ibrahim Zadran struck 106 as Afghanistan’s prime order set them up for a commanding 294 for 8, earlier than the bowlers – Fazalhaq Farooqi, Yamin Ahmadzai, and Gulbadin Naib – ripped by Sri Lanka’s batting order, sharing 9 wickets between them.

Sri Lanka offered some resistance, primarily by Pathum Nissanka, who saved the rating transferring within the early overs whereas wickets fell round him, and later by Wanindu Hasaranga, who was in scintillating batting type, whilst he ran out of companions. But Afghanistan’s seamers had carried out an excessive amount of harm. The margin of victory was a gaping 60 runs, Sri Lanka having been completely outplayed on house turf. They by no means actually appeared to have the measure of this huge chase.

The loss now makes Sri Lanka’s computerized qualification into subsequent yr’s ODI World Cup much more unlikely, as they’ve solely 62 factors on the Super League desk (which leaves them at tenth, with solely the highest eight qualifying), with simply 5 matches to go. Afghanistan, in the meantime, take a giant step in direction of sealing their World Cup place, with 110 factors now (they’re seventh), and loads of video games to play.

Before the quicks dismantled Sri Lanka’s prime order, Afghanistan had laid a mighty platform. On a Pallekele floor that had first rate tempo and carry, however not a number of flip, Afghanistan had been hardly ever troubled by Sri Lanka’s seamers, within the first 40 overs at the very least. In addition to Ibrahim’s century, Afghanistan had half-centuries from Gurbaz, who hit 53 off 55, and Rahmat who made 52 off 64. The opening partnership was price 84 off 88 balls; the second-wicket stand 118 off 141. After 38 overs, they had been 202 for 8.

They did not fairly nail the end, even after Najibullah Zadran had them flying into the demise overs along with his 25-ball 42 that featured a six and 5 fours. But 295 was all the time going to be a troublesome goal.

Where Gurbaz had had just a little fortune, having been dropped at slip within the fifth over (by Dhananjaya de Silva, off the bowling of Kasun Rajitha), Ibrahim’s innings was chanceless. His first boundary was a sweetly-struck drive that went large of mid-off, however he actually bought into it towards Rajitha within the seventh over, crashing him sq. by the legside off successive deliveries.

Gurbaz was extra aggressive by the powerplay, however Ibrahim was maybe higher by the center overs, discovering risk-free singles throughout the wicket as he labored his manner carefully to a 62-ball fifty. That milestone got here up within the twenty fourth over; he had not added to his boundary tally for the reason that ninth.

There was one edge off Lahiru Kumara that flew previous the keeper when he was on 55, however in any other case, the progress to triple figures was fairly clean too. He bought there not lengthy after Rahmat – who had additionally amassed properly by the center overs – departed, attending to the milestone with a swivel-pulled 4 off Kumara, off the 116th supply he confronted. He holed out towards the bowling of Maheesh Theekshana within the forty second over.

Sri Lanka pulled just a little again by the demise, conceding solely 31 runs within the final 5 overs, by which in addition they claimed 5 wickets. This was largely right down to Rajitha, whose final three overs price solely 12 runs. But Afghanistan had gained an excessive amount of floor within the first 45.

The response was nervy from the early overs. Nissanka was given lbw however was saved by a overview, within the third over. Next over, Kusal Mendis additionally reviewed an lbw determination towards him off the bowling of Ahmadzai, however was unsuccessful. Dinesh Chandimal struck some good boundaries, however was bowled by Farooqi within the seventh over. De Silva struck some even nicer boundaries, however was bowled by Gulbadin, off the within edge, within the eleventh.

Sri Lanka had been nicely forward of the required fee, however had been 75 for 3. Then 90 for 4 when Gulbadin had Asalanka edging to slide. Then 137 for five when Dasun Shanaka holed out to deep midwicket off the identical bowler.

They simply saved shedding wickets, although the required fee by no means climbed to unmanageable ranges. Nissanka was out for a wonderful 85 off 83 balls, edging Farooqi again on to his stumps. Dhananjaya Lakshan was bowled by a Farooqi yorker quickly after.

This was all a disgrace, as a result of Hasaranga was beginning to go nuts. In the thirty first over, bowled by Mohammad Nabi, Hasaranga banged a six over lengthy off first ball, confronted a dot, then cracked 4 consecutive fours by the offside to take 22 off the over. He saved discovering the boundary, however Afghanistan saved discovering wickets.

By the tip, Hasaranga was turning down singles to maintain the strike, however even what little balls the tailenders needed to face, they didn’t cope with notably nicely. Hasaranga was bowled for 66 off 46 on the finish of the thirty eighth over, ending Sri Lanka’s innings.

By that very same stage, Afghanistan had misplaced solely a single wicket.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf

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